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GM Sound Instrument VSTis - Printable Version

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GM Sound Instrument VSTis - bigcat1969 - 04-10-2018

You guys probably know every free sound extant and understand synth presets, so help me make the complete GM soundset in Maize VSTs with PD/CC samples.


    1 Acoustic Grand Piano - City, Iowa
    2 Bright Acoustic Piano - Salamander, VCSL Steinway B, VCSL Kawai?
    3 Electric Grand Piano - Y Piano
    4 Honky-tonk Piano - Skerratt London
       Upright - VSCO 1 & 2, VCSL Knight & Yamaha
       Intimate - The Whisper
    5 Electric Piano 1 - W Piano
    6 Electric Piano 2 - Merlittzer
    7 Harpsichord - VCSL
    8 Clavinet - H Piano

Chromatic Percussion

    9 Celesta - Stamperadam, PJCohen
    10 Glockenspiel - VSCO2, Ethan Winer
    11 Music Box - Ubikphonik
    12 Vibraphone - Atonia
    13 Marimba - VSCO2
    14 Xylophone - VSCO2, Stamperadam, Juela
    15 Tubular Bells - VCSL Chimes
    16 Dulcimer - VCSL Psaltery? (is this the right family?), MSLP Kantele?,
iternetcone Hammered Dulcimer


    17 Drawbar Organ -
    18 Percussive Organ -
    19 Rock Organ  -
    20 Church Organ - VSCO2
    21 Reed Organ - Donyaquick Harmonium
    22 Accordion -
    23 Harmonica - VCSL
    24 Tango Accordion -


    25 Acoustic Guitar (nylon) - Freepats Spanish Guitar, MF Natural Concert Guitar
    26 Acoustic Guitar (steel) - FS Blues Steel String Guitar
    27 Electric Guitar (jazz) - FS Mor Peter Bridge
    28 Electric Guitar (clean) - Karoryfer Cute Emily Guitar
    29 Electric Guitar (muted) -
    30 Overdriven Guitar -
    31 Distortion Guitar -
    32 Guitar Harmonics -


    33 Acoustic Bass - Flame Studios Washburn
    34 Electric Bass (finger) - Project16 Fingered, Quartertone
    35 Electric Bass (pick) - Project16 Picked
    36 Fretless Bass - FaireDesVague
    37 Slap Bass 1 -
    38 Slap Bass 2 -
    39 Synth Bass 1 - Axis 80 Plinks and Plunks contains Synth Bass
    40 Synth Bass 2 -


    41 Violin - VSCO2, LDK1609, sonatina
    42 Viola - VSCO2
    43 Cello - VSCO2
    44 Contrabass - VSCO2
    45 Tremolo Strings -
    46 Pizzicato Strings -
    47 Orchestral Harp - VSCO2
    48 Timpani - VSCO2


    49 String Ensemble 1 - S. Christian Collins
    50 String Ensemble 2 - S. Christian Collins
    51 Synth Strings 1 - Axis 80 Weird Strings
    52 Synth Strings 2
    53 Choir Aahs - Mihai Sorohan vowel choir (pending permission), NSynth
    54 Voice Oohs - NSynth
    55 Synth Choir
    56 Orchestra Hit


    57 Trumpet - VSCO, Iowa
    58 Trombone - VSCO, Iowa
    59 Tuba - VSCO, Iowa
    60 Muted Trumpet - VSCO2
    61 French Horn - VSCO, Iowa
    62 Brass Section -
    63 Synth Brass 1 -
    64 Synth Brass 2 -


    65 Soprano Sax - Iowa, VCSL Saxello
    66 Alto Sax - Iowa, Clruwe
    67 Tenor Sax - VCSL
    68 Baritone Sax -
    69 Oboe - VCSO2
    70 English Horn - Eddie's English Horn
    71 Bassoon - VCSO2, Ethan Winer
    72 Clarinet - VCSO2


    73 Piccolo - VCSO2
    74 Flute - VCSO2, Carlos Vaquero , Iowa, MSLP
    75 Recorder - VCSL, MSLP
    76 Pan Flute -
    77 Blown bottle -
    78 Shakuhachi -
    79 Whistle - VCSL
    80 Ocarina - VCSL

Synth Lead - Taylor Sampled Synth presets? No idea which ones...

    81 Lead 1 (square)
    82 Lead 2 (sawtooth)
    83 Lead 3 (calliope)
    84 Lead 4 (chiff)
    85 Lead 5 (charang)
    86 Lead 6 (voice)
    87 Lead 7 (fifths)
    88 Lead 8 (bass + lead)

Synth Pad - Taylor Sampled Synth presets? No idea which ones...

    89 Pad 1 (new age)
    90 Pad 2 (warm)
    91 Pad 3 (polysynth)
    92 Pad 4 (choir)
    93 Pad 5 (bowed)
    94 Pad 6 (metallic)
    95 Pad 7 (halo)
    96 Pad 8 (sweep)

Synth Effects - Taylor Sampled Synth presets? No idea which ones...

    97 FX 1 (rain)
    98 FX 2 (soundtrack)
    99 FX 3 (crystal)
    100 FX 4 (atmosphere)
    101 FX 5 (brightness)
    102 FX 6 (goblins)
    103 FX 7 (echoes)
    104 FX 8 (sci-fi)


    105 Sitar -
    106 Banjo - Flame Studios Golden Key
    107 Shamisen -
    108 Koto -
    109 Kalimba -
    110 Bagpipe -
    111 Fiddle -
    112 Shanai -


Orchestral - VSCO2

    113 Tinkle Bell
    114 Agogo
    115 Steel Drums
    116 Woodblock
    117 Taiko Drum - S. Christian Collins
    118 Melodic Tom
    119 Synth Drum
    120 Reverse Cymbal

Sound effects

    121 Guitar Fret Noise
    122 Breath Noise
    123 Seashore
    124 Bird Tweet
    125 Telephone Ring
    126 Helicopter
    127 Applause
    128 Gunshot

Quartertone, Open Source

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - Samulis - 04-11-2018

Ambitious project! Best wishes. Smile

The VCSL Steinway B is a grand piano, not an upright. Those samples are very typical of a "bright grand piano" sound. Honky-tonks are supposed to be mildly out of tune, somewhat mellow uprights.

Both of the Kawai sample sets are also grands, but a bit more out of tune, so they would work fairly well as a honky-tonk if you need one.

Often one of the e. piano sounds is a synth piano. I put a few FM synth piano sounds in the 'TX81Z' folder in 'Electrophones'.

There are quite a few instruments on this list which will eventually be added to VCSL, but that is several months if not years down the road. If you were taking this on then rather than now, the project would be better able to help you.

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - Mattias Westlund - 04-11-2018

Very ambitious project indeed! Just a couple of suggestions:

- For something like this, I would not use the Sonatina samples at all, since they have a large amount of baked ambience whereas the other stuff hasn't. I suggest using the original samples instead.

- Some suggestions on alternatives to what you have there in case you're not completely happy with some of it -- or maybe you could even do a GS-compatible VSTi with multiple versions of some instruments?

* Celesta -- Stamperadam Celeste
* Glockenspiel -- Ethan Winer
* Xylophone -- Stamperadam Xylophone
* Tubular Bells -- Samulis chimes (probably in VCSL already?)
* Strings 1/2 -- S. Christian Collins
* Choir Aahs -- Mihai Sorohan vowel choir (might need to ask permission)
* English Horn -- Eddie's English Horn (sf2)
* Bassoon -- Ethan Winer
* Flute -- Carlos Vaquero Transverse Flute
* Taiko Drum -- S. Christian Collins

There's probably a lot more but that is from a quick peek in my Samples folder.

- A lot of the synth patches could probably be created with various good freeware VST synths, like U-He Tyrell N6, OBXD, etc.

Also, how detailed do you want everything to be in terms of multisampling, velocity layers and so on?

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - bigcat1969 - 04-11-2018

Thanks Sam!
The Skerratt London might be the way to go for the Honky Tonk. I'll have to give it a good listen.
Great suggestion on the Synth Piano. I'll check it out.
This is a long term project largely inspired by realizing you were sampling cool instruments that I didn't have access to before. I'm lazy enough that I'm generally only willing to do a few Maize VSTis at a time. I'm ultimately contemplating doing a GMish Maize Rompler. I like the Sample Science Rompler and it looks great, but it seems kind of all over the place. Doing a more focused in order GM one might be nice.
I also need to update the Kontakt GM list and upload single versions of the VSCO2 instruments in non-take-downable form.

Thanks Mattias!
As much as I love Sonatina, you are probably right.
Yeah I wouldn't mind having multiple options. It's always nice to have a choice. Thanks for taking a look at what you used and the suggestions, I'll check them out.
Good thought on the synths. I was just thinking of currently available samples.
I hadn't thought that much about detail. I suppose it kind of depends on how much the instrument varies. If it changes tone from loud to soft it would be nice to have a couple velocity layers. Every second or third note would be nice as stretching more than a half tone can be weird. Though I tend to over stretch the tops and bottoms anyway to add some range.

Update note 5 VSTis added
11 Music Box - Ubikphonik
12 Vibraphone - Atonia
65 Soprano Sax - VCSL Saxello
75 Recorder - VCSL Alto
80 Ocarina - VCSL
And added VSCO2 links to VST4Free

Anyone wanna make a website for this, the blog is so ugly!

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - Mattias Westlund - 04-11-2018

If I have the time, I might at some point be willing to create some of the synth sounds. That would actually be a lot of fun, trying to recreate those classic GM patches like Brightness, Atmosphere, New Age, Sweep Pad, Rain and so on. The question is -- what are they supposed to sound like? I know that sounds like a stupid thing to ask, but what I mean is, all GM sound cards I have are all over the place when it comes to some patches. Some don't even sound anything like what they're supposed to be (OTOH, what the hell is a "Tinkle Bell"?) Is there something like a GM reference guide somewhere on what each particular sound should be like?

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - bigcat1969 - 04-11-2018

If you felt like it / had time that would be awesome!

I'm in the same position, I really don't know what the synth sounds are supposed to sound like.

A bit of a discussion of it here....

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - Mattias Westlund - 04-12-2018

Thanks bigcat, that was an interesting read. It's like I thought then -- most hardware manufacturers of the day just sort of winged it with some of the patches. Modeling the sounds after the Sound Canvas might be a good idea though, since it's such an iconic piece of gear. Sadly I don't have one but I believe there are soundfont versions of it floating around, and I could use one of those for reference.

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - Mattias Westlund - 04-12-2018

Also, the thing about detail in a GM instrument is that most midi files aren't designed to take advantage of stuff like velocity switching or other more advanced features. Most sound cards of the day didn't have any of that, just the one dynamic layer. So who knows what it would sound like if you add more layers. Maybe one midi file has all instruments playing really softly because the composer's midi keyboard had a weird velocity response; in normal cases this will sound just like it should because all instrument sounds are the same even down to the lowest velocity, but if you have instruments with multiple dynamic layers it might sound completely different and nothing like the composer intended. Not saying you shouldn't have velocity switching (I think you should), just something to consider.

As for multisampling, minor thirds is probably a good compromise between sound quality and instrument size. I don't really see the point in having chromatic sampling in a GM bank, because GM banks are mostly used for playing back GM files, and GM files can't be expected to sound completely realistic anyway. In fact, the inherent cheesiness is part of their charm Smile So if I were you I wouldn't go crazy with instrument detail overall.

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - bigcat1969 - 04-12-2018

Yeah Sound Canvas seems be the standard. It is interesting how they left so much up to the manufacturer. I guess they just figured folks should have a general idea of what something should sound like and maybe they did back then.

On the Rompler, I'm thinking about doing the 'lite' version of many instruments to keep the size down and more like the GM sound. I know a lot of people complained that the pianos were too big in Orion, so I'd like to keep them down especially. I should almost have two lists, a real GM instrument list and a GM order list with more detailed instruments. Right now its really a GM order list for instance the Salamander is a beast with 16 velocity layers.

I agree minor thirds works pretty well. It keep the instruments small while not stretching the notes too far.

Have you ever looked at the Modular Samples library? I'm not sure there is anything there that might be useful? Of course it would be much more fun to hear your own takes on the sounds.

Oh I'm gonna be out of town for a couple days so i don't know how much I'll check in. So forgive me if i don't respond for a while.

On an unrelated note anyone want some game keys?
Endless Space 1 collection
Planetary Annihilation: TITANS

RE: GM Sound Instrument VSTis - Mattias Westlund - 04-13-2018

(04-12-2018, 01:34 PM)bigcat1969 Wrote: Have you ever looked at the Modular Samples library? I'm not sure there is anything there that might be useful? Of course it would be much more fun to hear your own takes on the sounds.

Nope, never heard of it actually. To be honest I have never seen the point of sampled synths, considering there's tons of really good virtual synths out there. I mean sure, 15 years ago when PC's weren't yet capable of replicating complex synths in realtime with good enough quality, but today... ? It all seems very pointless to me loading [x] GB of Moog samples when you can just fire up a Moog VA that will provide you with the same thing (only much more configurable) using only a bit of CPU time.